El-Hiba, south of Cairo, comprises the remains of the town that once stood there, the Third Intermediate Period, and its associated cemeteries. Its existence shows evidence of a provincial town.
The area has been threatened by a combination of factors, including a rising water table, population growth accompanied by settlement and agricultural expansion, increased accessibility and occasional looting.
Since the 2011 revolution, the lack of security has had serious implications for Egyptian heritage. The site of El-Hiba was one of the heavily plundered and affected areas as a result of the revolution, with looters digging pits and exposing tombs, and it remains largely unprotected.
However the plundering of El-Hiba is not a recent phenomena, as there have been cases of plundering dating back to the 1890s. From 1895-96, ‘Sheikh Hassan’, a prominent antiquities dealer from Giza, hired local villagers at El-Hiba to plunder cemeteries, procuring many objects including amulets, statuettes and faience to sell for the market.
The images below show the extent of the digging holes.